Definition of alcohol: the types of alcohol and their harms


  • 1 alcohol
  • 2 Alcohol in the human body
  • 3 consequences of drinking alcohol
    • 3.1 Short-term consequences
    • 3.2 The long-term consequences
  • 4 Alcoholism
  • 5 References


Chemically, it defines alcoholOrganic compounds that contain hydroxyl groups that carry the chemical symbol (-OH), whereas the term alcohol by its common definition is a toxic substance found in spirits that include beer, wine, and distilled wines. These alcohols are known chemically as ethanol, which contains two hydroxes of carbon One is alcohol, and alcohol is toxic because of its ability to dissolve fat, as it works to dissolve the fat present in the cell membranes, which destroys the structure of cells and kills them, and in this way the alcohols kill the microbes. It is effective in sterilization, and ethanol is considered less toxic than other alcohols, and when it is sufficiently diluted it causes effects on the brain that some want to obtain, but it should be noted that the consumption of alcohols, regardless of their quantity and concentration, cannot be completely safe and without risks.> ( 1]
Many people in many regions of the world intend to drink alcohol on social occasions, but drinking alcohol has many health and social risks and consequences, [2] and despite the fact that the majority of chronic diseases resulting from drinking alcohol are caused by consuming it frequently and for long periods, However, drinking it in small quantities or at intervals also carries many risks with it, and the science has concluded that there is no safe minimum for drinking alcohol, [3] and it will be discussed in this article about the effect of alcoholic beverages on human health.

Alcohol in the human body

The alcohol in alcoholic beverages does not need to be digested before it is absorbed, and therefore it is rapidly absorbed into the blood, as about 20% of it can be directly absorbed from the empty stomach walls, and it reaches the brain within one minute, while the presence of food slows down the absorption of alcohol. To the brain, and works to keep it in the stomach for a longer period, as the stomach works to digest a portion of alcohol through an alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme (English: Alcohol degydrogenase) thereby reducing the amount of alcohol that reaches the brain, but the enzyme digesting alcohol is more in men than Women, and therefore Connect the largest amount of alcohol into the small intestine in a woman 's body, making it absorb more alcohol than men equal in size by about a third, and so are the largest alcohol toxicity in women, after absorption of the body of alcohol gives priority in the metabolic processesIn order to ensure that it is disposed of as soon as possible, as the body cannot store alcohol, which also indicates that the body treats it as a toxic substance. [1]

Loaded blood transports alcohol from the digestive tract to the liver, so that the blood reaches all the liver cells, the only cells that also contain good amounts of the enzyme dehydrogenase alcohol , which enables the body to get rid of part of the alcohol before it reaches the rest of the cells of the body, Therefore, the most harm caused by alcohol occurs in the liver, although it affects all parts of the body. [1]

The consequences of drinking alcohol

The consequences are short term

Drinking alcohol causes a loss of focus and the ability to judge and act during situations, as it affects the ability to see and affects memory, and it may cause fainting. [4] As drinking alcohol causes many consequences, the following are some of its short-term consequences that affect the people who drink it, as it affects others who do not drink it: [1]
  • Alcohol is responsible for a third of all cases entering the emergency department.
  • Responsible for half of the homicides.
  • Responsible for half of the cases of family violence.
  • Responsible for half of all traffic accident deaths.
  • Responsible for half of the fatalities from the fires.

Alcohol intake affects university students in the world more than others due to the acceptance of excessive drinking by members of this age group, where drinking alcohol is responsible for: [1]
  • An average of 4 college students are killed every day.
  • Sexual assault on 192 university students per day.
  • 1,370 university students are hurt daily.
  • 1644 university students are attacked daily.

The consequences are far-reaching

Scientific research has found that drinking alcohol is associated with more than 60 diseases, and it carries many effects on the body, which have not yet been fully discovered, [5] and when the quantities of alcohol consumed are large or the period between consuming them is short, the body cannot recover in a way Full of the effect of the drink, and the repetition of this affects all members of the body, so that the risk of death from all causes is greater in people who consume alcohol in abundance, especially people under the age of 35, [1] and the long-term health problems caused by drinking alcohol include the following:
  • High risk of arthritis. [1]
  • Drinking alcohol can cause anemia . [5]
  • The higher risk of cancer due to the conversion of alcohol in the body in the carcinogenic acetaldehyde ( 5) and it raises the risk of developing liver, pancreas, rectal and breast cancer, and it also raises the risk of developing oral, throat, pharynx, and esophageal cancer, which is It interacts with smoking to increase the risk in these types of cancer further. [1]
  • Drinking alcohol during pregnancy causes what is called alcoholic fetal syndrome (English: Fetal alcohol syndrome), so that the fetus develops congenital malformations and abnormal changes in behavior, and this effect is considered the most dangerous for drinking alcohol. [1]
  • Drinking alcohol greatly increases blood pressure and blood lipids (lipids), and it also increases the risk of stroke and heart disease, [1] which includes heart muscle failure . [5]
  • Drinking alcohol can cause high blood sugar, and it may also cause it to drop, especially in people with diabetes. [1]
  • High risk of miscarriage in women and infertility in women and men. [1]
  • Increasing the size of the kidneys and affecting hormone functions, and raising the risk of kidney failure . [1]
  • Drinking alcohol causes fatty liver disease ( in English: Fatty liver), and cirrhosis of the liver ( in English: Liver cirrhosis), hepatitis and alcohol ( in English: Alcoholic hepatitis). [1]
  • Increase the risk of malnutrition due to protein and energy deficiency (Protein-energy malnutrition), decreased protein intake, vitamin A, calcium, iron, vitamin C, thiamin (vitamin B2) and riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B6, and impaired absorption Calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D and zinc. [1]
  • Drinking alcohol causes nerve damage , dementia, imbalance and memory, [1] and it causes what is known as alcohol-related neuropathy, which results in feelings of tingling and numbness in the limbs, muscle weakness, urinary incontinence , erectile dysfunction, and others. [5]
  • Drinking alcohol increases your caloric intake and thus increases the risk of obesity and being overweight. [1]
  • Drinking alcohol causes depression, anxiety and insomnia. [1]
  • High risk of stomach ulcers and cancer . [4]
  • The risk of epilepsy is high, and it causes seizures even in people without epilepsy , and it also conflicts with medications used to treat seizures. [5]
  • Increased risk of developing gout , and worsening disease in patients. [5]
  • Reducing the efficiency of the immune system and increasing the risk of infection, especially tuberculosis, pneumonia, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, including diseases that lead to infertility. [5]
  • Gastritis (English: Pancreatitis) that affects digestion, causes abdominal pain and persistent diarrhea, and alcohol is responsible for about 60% of cases of pancreatitis. [5]


Alcoholism is defined as having unhealthy and dangerous drinking habits, and a person is considered to have alcoholism if he has three or more of the following problems within one year: [6]
  • Inability to stop drinking or control the amount of drink intake.
  • You need to drink more in order to get the same effect.
  • Withdrawal symptoms, which include stomach upset, sweating, tremor, and anxiety when stopping drinking.
  • Spending a long time drinking or waking up from a drink, or giving up other activities in exchange for drinking.
  • Previous failure to stop the drinking habit or reduce the quantities consumed.
  • Keep drinking even though it hurts social relationships, or causes physical problems.

Addiction to alcohol is a chronic disease in itself, and it has symptoms that develop in a known way, and it is a disease that requires treatment that may require hospitalization or treatment.

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